Wildlife Biologist, Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Ashley Kijowski has been a biologist for the UDWR within the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program since 2013. Here she works with a team of other biologists to develop research questions, prepare study designs and conduct research in regards to the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem, from the wetlands to the salt covered islands. Before moving to Utah, Ashley studied aquatic macroinvertebrates in ephemeral and permanent ponds in the Chippewa Morraine area of Wisconsin and received her M.S. in Ecology studying the larval movement patterns of the endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly in Door County, Wisconsin.
Title: The Willard Spur WMA, A Local Treasure
Abstract: The Willard Spur, commonly referred to as “The Spur”, is a unique and dynamic wetland situated in Bear River Bay of Great Salt Lake. The Spur is a very exceptional wetland that is a favorite among birders, hunters, anglers, kayakers, air boaters and the like. The freshwater inflows from the Bear and Weber rivers, along with the flushing spring flows are extremely important to maintaining the Spur’s water quality, vegetation and invertebrates. In 2019, H.B. 265 passed and thus created the Willard Spur Waterfowl Management Area to be managed by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR). The area is a 13,940 acre wetland within the Spur and the UDWR is responsible to preserve and enhance the natural function, vegetation and water flows that make the Spur so unique. The UDWR will provide productive habitat for the benefit of a variety of species along with recreational opportunities and public access without the construction or use of an impounding dike, levee or other impounding structures. This presentation will give an overview of the area, its history and a look into the future.